Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Keeps Me Up at Night - Story Unfolding 101

*What keeps you up at night? What could you talk about every single day for the rest of your life? What do you want to shout from the rooftops so everyone will know? What runs electric through your veins?

What keeps me up at night? Seriously?
What doesn’t keep me up at night?
Photo Via Pinterest
I don’t sleep much, or well. So the fact that I can’t sleep, keeps me up. Fear of insomnia taking over my life once again, keeps me up. People use the word insomnia too much. I think I likely did as well, until I actually had it, and sleep would not come to me, not at 1 am, not at 3 am, not a 5 am. Never. Finally I would nap some afternoons, for short periods of time. Insomnia, you know when you have it, and it is dreadful!
What keeps me up at night?
Conversations I ought to have or would like to have, will keep me up. Thinking about marriage and friendships, keeps me up at night.
Story ideas keep me up at night.

Songs stuck in my head keep me in a state of consciousness.

Oddly enough, ways in which I can meet and have dinner with Prince keep me up at night.
If you tell me to think about ice cream flavors to help me get to sleep, instead of counting sheep, now THAT, keeps me up. DO you know how many ice cream flavors you can think of? Remember the ice cream in a cone shape plastic cup, it was pink and had a gum ball at the bottom, and you ate it with a wooden stick spoon? What about the Canadian Mint Bar or Strawberry Shortcake? Oh and pudding pops! See what happens?
My brain does not shut the fuck up!
This writing prompt does not help me, and it even kept me up one damn night!

Now what could I talk about every single day? Again, some would say Prince. Weird, I know. Others would say my daughter, my cat, the crappy service you get from people in retail stores.

I know where this writing prompt is meant to go, what it is supposed to inspire in me. It doesn’t.

Here is the thing. Something that moves me, or something I am passionate about, it is not something tangible.
It is a feeling.

It is a deep, unbending need that gnaws at me every day, a need that I push into those deep crevasses.

It’s a feeling of home, of family (not necessarily the traditional sense of family). It is a place of belonging.
That is what it is, that ignites me, what I want to shout from the rooftops. This feeling I search for and long for, that I am scared I will die without feeling it.

A feeling of love and warmth, closeness, kindness, tenderness, sharing, caring and an absolute unvarying, sum of exchange.
Love that is given and returned on the parity,

A place of solitude, peace and tranquility,


And Adoration.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Unwanted Kiss

Story 101 – Conference call

On the weekend, I had a video conference call with my writing group. One of the questions posed to us, was ‘who, or what, is our muse?’
I had never really thought about it much before. It could be heartache, or loneliness, or hurt.  I know that often, music has inspired me. There are a few artists that I can listen to that will ignite my imagination, and usually, it is their music, if any, playing while I am writing. Often I like silence.
We were asked the question, ‘what would it do to our writing if we believed God, the Spirit, the universe was our muse? God my source? The universe?
Well, I will tell you, when I first contemplated if I was going to partake in this writing course, I sent an e mail, asking if it was religious based. I did not want to write about God, I did not want to write about religion, I just wanted to write. I was assured that although there were many religious people in the course, it was not religious based. I was good with that. As it turns out, these women are amazing!
I explained that while I am not a part of an organized religion, I do believe. I refer to him as ‘my God’. All I mean by that, is that I believe, and he may not be the same God you pray to, and we may not have the same beliefs, but I do believe that there is someone bigger than me, someone more than me, someone who loves me, and guides me. I have my own unique experience with religion, with the church, with God, but have always lived by the belief that there are two things you only talk about with a few trusted people, politics and religion. I still stand by that.
Anyway, our task at hand was to take 10 minutes to write about God, the Spirit, the universe, (whatever was our belief), being our muse.
Here is what I think:
I have a story within me that will not come out to be shared.
Is my muse, my God, my universe, going to give me the most divine opportunity to share my story?
If I would have been asked this question a few days prior, I would not have been able to answer it. I had NO answer. This day I did. I could see, that God had an injustice happen upon my daughter, allowing words to bubble up, my story, beginning to come to the surface and he was speaking to me through her, likely knowing, through her, is the only way I could truly hear him. If he truly is the reason for all things, he needs to protect my daughter. This light, this spark, within me is enough to light my fire.
He has fuelled my need. If the universe is my muse, I have put out there, a need to find my voice.
This is her story, yet it is mine...

The Unwanted Kiss

She came in the front door, her bag slung across her chest, her hair wild from the humidity.
“Mom, can I talk to you, tell you something that happened?
I shut my laptop with a “snap”, I know when she says this, that she needs my undivided attention.
“Sure honey, what happened?”
She was at her friend *Connors house, so I quickly scanned my mind, he annoyed her again, she ran into someone at the school yard on her way home, or she saw some bad kids. These are all some of the things she regularly reports.
I was in no way prepared for what would come out of her mouth; that perfect, small mouth, with those beautiful full lips. My lips.
“Connor forced himself on me and kissed me! I pushed him away, but he did it again, three times!”
“He WHAT?” is the first response that came out of my mouth. As I asked her to tell me what happened, I said a quick request to God in my head to please let her be able to get it all out, let her find her communications skills enough to be clear about what happened.
She described how he asked her to go in the garage he wanted to kiss her. She admitted she was curious too, she thought it may feel good.
Then she got nervous, she thought it was wrong and told him so.
He kissed her anyway.
She got hot and started to sweat, she didn’t feel right, she felt like it was wrong, and once again told him no, she didn’t want to kiss him again.
He put his hand on her lower back and pushed himself toward her to kiss him again, she pushed him away, both her hands on his chest, she explained, showing me with her hands outstretched. He kissed her a third time, and she yelled at him.
As she told me this, she began to cry.
I sat in front of her, holding her hands, reaching out to comfort her.
I closed my eyes.
Oh God, his rough hands.
Oh God, the searing pain.
Oh God that horrible taste in the back of my throat, what the hell is that?
Oh God, my back is killing me, my head, oh God the pain.
I opened my eyes and it was her I saw before me. Her red, hot face, tears coming down her cheeks.
My anger boiled inside me, bile coming up, I nearly puked in my mouth.
I was devastated for what she just experienced, yet thankful for what did not happen.
God, don’t let it happen to her too, please, not ever. Please, no!
I scanned her for the truth.
I knew there was more, so I asked her.
“He asked me mom, oh God, he asked me if he could see my boobs, he pulled my shirt, my bra away.”
Then it ended. His mom came into the garage.
My girl tried to tell his mom what happened and she told me that they both got into trouble. This mom, this woman, this stupid bitch said to my girl over and over again that it takes two. It takes two. She didn’t know what it meant, but his mom kept saying this to her.
It takes two?
If this woman had been in front of me, I would have punched her. I would have spit on her.
I let my girl cry. She needed to cry, to be rid of the feelings I knew were overwhelming her. The shame, the confusion, the hurt, the betrayal of her friend.
As she put her face in her hands, I closed my eyes.
I had to ask her if she knew what it meant. I knew I had to ask her a serious set of questions and be prepared to answer the ones she asked me.
Should I tell her my story?
It was all too much, I wanted her to keep her face covered, and I couldn’t let her see my face. I can’t let her see my tears; I can’t let her see my truth.
Not yet. Not now. I’m not ready. She’s not ready.
Oh God, if you are there, please spare her.

*name has been changed.

I believe that this was God telling me, that the time is now, to share my story, and share my truth. This is her story, yet it is mine.

Thank you for stopping by.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Questions Answered - Story 101

Something interesting was presented to us in my Story 101 class, a group of questions for us to answer, adapted from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. I have not read the book yet, but it is on my list. I do know it is a book that has helped many people discover–and recover– their creativity. It's a book for those wishing to experience more creativity in their lives.

I like this idea, I have seen it on other blogs in their "about" page, a list of things that readers may find interesting to know about the blogger, or a way to get to know them better.

I always thought that two of the things I would list if I was to do this kind of "about me" page would be; a phobia I have: grasshoppers! What can you always be guaranteed to find when you come to my house: my vacuum in the middle of the floor in one of  my rooms! I have 4 pets so I vacuum up to 3 times a day most days. I like to have it handy. Granted, having it in the middle of the kitchen or living room is not ideal, but it's handy if I find a fur ball!

Anyway, I digress. So here it is, I wanted to participate and blog the answers to the questions listed for us.

1. My favorite childhood toy was...
Cats! I know they are not a toy, but I would go into the closet when I had a cat who had babies, (and yes it happened often!) and I would grab my moms knitting needles and pretend to be their teacher! I would use the knitting needles to point at the one who should answer the questions! Weird I know. Barbie's were a close second!

2. My favorite childhood game was...
Monopoly or hide and seek.

 3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid was...
E.T. It was my first movie in a theatre. When I was 10 or 12, I can't remember, Purple Rain became THE movie that would change my life. So dramatic, I know, but it's how I felt at the time.

 4. I don't do it much but I enjoy...
A good food fight! Me and one of my brothers were famous for our food fights!

 5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself...
Give in to taking risks!

 6. If it weren't too late, I'd...
Travel the world, living in other countries for a time and moving on.

 7. My favorite musical instrument is...
I don't play an instrument, but I love the sound of the drums, and piano. Also the acoustic guitar.

 8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is...
Good question. Coffee is a big one for me, craft supplies, baking supplies, travel to Prince concerts, yikes, it's a good thing I don't really keep track.

 9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy her...
Her own studio with lots of windows, natural light, and a view to die for!

 10. Taking time out for myself is...
writing, sitting still in nature and staring, swimming into deep water.

 11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming...
I may finally take a risk that would change the course of my life forever.

 12. I secretly enjoy reading...
I don't "secretly" enjoy anything, but I do love to read books that sometimes are a bit easy to read, with a good story, the ones you can finish in a day if you took the time. I do have an addiction to magazines. If I had the money, I would buy one of every magazine on every topic. But then I would need the time to read them all. I have piles of magazines I have not gotten to, or that I save for that one story I wanted to re read!

 13. If I had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to be...
Oh, the list could be endless, a rocker chic, a better wife, a photographer for National Geographic. Or I would still be me, just the way I am. Childhood made me who I am, but it didn't keep me where I once was. Change and growth, can be a beautiful thing!

 14. If it didn't sound so crazy, I'd write or make a...
I would write a self dictated Biography of Prince. I find him fascinating, and would love to know his musically genius mind.

 15. My parents think artists are...
I have no idea what my mother would think artists are. Perhaps I should ask her.

 16. I believe God thinks artists are...
People who reach the souls of others.

 17. What makes me feel weird about this course is...
Opening up to strangers.

 18. Learning to trust myself is probably...
The best thing I could ever learn to do.

 19. My most cheer-me-up music is...
Anything that makes me move, dance and be silly!

 20. My favorite way to dress is...
This is a loaded question, because I do not dress in my favorite way. I have no idea how others would view how I currently dress, I have been told I am classic in my style. My favorite is Bohemian. Not that I would ever need to wear one, but I would love to be able to pull off a gown and heals!

There it is. So people who know me, did you learn anything new?

Wow, I encourage you to jot this down for yourself and answer the questions, the answers came so much easier to me than I thought!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Story 101

I started a new writing course, Story 101, which will continue for ten weeks. In these 10 weeks, my plan is to use this blog as my writing place. We have a syllabus for our ten weeks, full of writing prompts, blog analysis, activities, books we need to read. I may be a bit crazy to be doing this right now, in the busy summer months, but all of my months are busy. No time like now.

The first food for thought presented to us; “why am I taking this course, do I have a story unfolding?”

We all have a story, don’t we?

For the last four days on the beach, there was this anonymous man, sitting there in his chair. He would sit alone, drinking a beer or two. When the heat became too much or the water beckoned him, he would retreat to the water for a swim. On and on, day after day, my curious eyes would watch him, my heart felt warm towards him. We have now progressed, him and I, from a friendly nod of acknowledgement to a hello and finally an exchange of names and a conversation. He even offered to take a picture of my family.

Today, I glanced back at him. Tibor is his name. No doubt he was handsome in his day. Now he has silver hair, likely in his 60’s, a fit, tanned man. As I glimpse at him, I wonder about him, what is Tibor’s story? Is there a Mrs. or is she gone. Does he have children, grandchildren? Is he sad? What does he think about all those hours?

Tibor has a story.

I have a story.

We all have a story. Some of us want to tell it. Some of us need to tell it. Some would rather their stories didn’t exist in their form.

But...we all matter and each and every one of our stories matter.

I may find out through Story 101 that I began this course to tell my story. Maybe it is to see if I have the courage to use my authentic voice. I am taking this course to learn; from myself and others as we become brave worriers in our own right.

I am taking this course to find my heart, become alive in places I fear I have died.

As we build a community and rally around each other, I hope to share my stories and find my authentic voice which these days, seems to be silent.

Most of all, I want to write.

I want to dig into the crevices of me, deep and dark, bright and wild.

I want to write.

You may choose to read or you may not. It is ok either way. You may be intrigued by my journey or bored. Either way, it is ok.

I do know that in my writing I will grow, I will find beauty, I will be beautiful. If in some small way, by being me, I have touched someone deep inside their crevices, helped someone feel love, make them smile or help them feel a sense of connection, my words will have been worth it.

Story 101 is just another one of my journeys, to my final destination.

I hope that without judgement, you will join me in reading about my journey. Perhaps you will begin to or continue to find your voice to your own story unfolding.

My biggest barrier, as I take this course, is going to be fear. I’m ashamed to say that sometimes, fear rules me. What am I afraid of? Well, sometimes I am afraid of the fact that no one truly knows me, and in writing and sharing, people may finally get to know me. What if knowing me means not loving me?

I am afraid to dream my dreams, because of fear of success. What if achieving my dreams means leaving others behind? I am afraid of the crippling guilt of being selfish.

Finally, I am afraid, that I actually will find my voice and in doing so, I will split myself wide open, gaping wounds and all, for all to know, for all to see, for all to judge and for all to question. I am afraid to find the answer to my burning question: How can I feel like something is absent, when I am so happy?

How will I manage these obstacles? With the faith and belief that all of this will happen and I will be loved anyway, I will still be happy and maybe even happier still.

I will manage these obstacles by the simple knowledge that I am who I am for a reason, that my stories, my life, and my love, is meant to be shared. I believe that beauty can indeed be something that can be felt in my heart and not just seen.

This is the truth. The truth shall set us free – right?

My truth will take courage, vulnerability and love.

I am about to embrace my story unfolding!
Thanks for stopping by.